Hi, Matt: Now that summer’s coming on, I’m going to be drinking a lot more water than usual. Tell me, if I slug down a bunch of water all at once, is there a danger my stomach will explode? Just how much water can I consume at one sitting and still be safe? My summer fun depends on your answer. — Glug Glug, Pacific Beach
Matt: I’m pissed you never answered my query re: If one accidentally swallowed a large ice cube, would it melt or choke one to death first? You’re at the top of my mailing list, right after my ex-boyfriend in prison. — Sue, North Park
G. Glug: Too much of a good thing is usually a bad thing, and that includes water. If you haven’t stretched your stomach by inhaling lotsa chow for years, its normal capacity is between one and two liters. Chugging two liters of water on a hot day may not make your gut bust, but it could send you into water intoxication. A sudden surge of water into your system dilutes your body’s electrolytes, especially sodium, and sets off a chain reaction that could end in mental confusion, seizures, coma, and even a bite of the big one. Actually, you can also achieve water intoxication gradually — with prolonged exercise in a hot environment (hiking in the desert, say), drinking large quantities of water, eating only low-sodium stuff like trail mix or eating nothing at all, and not replacing electrolytes. So there’s your biggest heads-up when it comes to our friend, life-giving H20.
As for busting a gut, according to autopsy reports, it takes about 4 liters of junk stuffed into that stretchable 1.5-liter bag to make it tear. Your brain’s little pigometer would have told you to stop eating long before that point, so the circumstances would have to be unusual.
Hey, Sue. Don’t know how I could have overlooked your sphinx-worthy conundrum. Trust there’s no connection between the cube scenario and the reason Mr. Felonious Hunk’s now enjoying state accommodations. There may, though, be a connex between your boyfriend and the fact that I’m now giving you my total attention. If you “accidentally swallowed” the cube, it would melt in your stomach, right? Case closed.